The Western Balkans Network The Future of the Welfare State, utilising the Open Method of Coordination as a tool and the EU Pillar for Social Rights as a relevant policy framework, initiates coordination in education, social protection and social inclusion in the Western Balkans. We have agreed the Future of the Welfare State Platform which represents a common minimum of a Regional Social Protection Floor and contains a basket of essential services and benefits.
Elements of the Future of the Welfare State Platform have been formulated based on the position paper The Welfare State in the Western Balkans – Challenges and Options and discussions held during the Belgrade Flagship Conference (2018) and the Social Policy Lab (Montenegro, 2019). Also, the EU Pillar for Social Rights’ principles, rights and indicators have been used in formulating the common Regional Social Protection Floor.
Instead of a fully developed platform, a list of elements is offered that might be further developed, but that also, even as stand-alone items, would provide better quality of Western Balkan welfare states and more protection for greater numbers of people. Some elements contain precise requirements and indicators, some indicate very concrete measures, some are just sketched and some are labelled as important, but need additional evidence based on good research.
Welfare states need to be commensurate with, and contribute to, social cohesion and economic development. Used wisely, welfare expenditures are a highly effective form of social investment improving well-being and equity.
Please read the text of the Platform here.